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Friday Talking Points [203] -- The Operation Was A Success...

[ Posted Friday, March 23rd, 2012 – 16:36 PDT ]

That title is a hoary old doctor joke, and the punchline is, of course, "...but the patient died on the table."

Two years ago, Joe Biden was famously quoted for saying to Barack Obama upon the occasion of health care reform legislation finally passing: "This is a big [expletive deleted] deal." In the past week or so, the White House has rolled out a big media push to support Obama's signature legislation. Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the subject of whether the law, as written, passes constitutional muster or not.

We'll get to all of that in a moment, but we have some Republican primary prognostication to quickly take care of first.

As always, we believe all political pundits should, much like their counterparts in the sports world, publish their rolling stats on how accurate they've been during any particular season. In keeping with this spirit, here's my score so far:

Total correct 2012 primary picks so far: 37 for 56 -- 66%.

I picked up a pretty easy win this Tuesday by calling Illinois for Romney, and it's looking like another fairly easy pick today. Louisiana is next in line, and thankfully some polling has been done to gauge the current feelings of the Pelican State's Republican voters. I'm going to stick with what these polls are saying, and predict Rick Santorum wins his eleventh state, and by a comfortable margin. Mitt Romney will place second, with Newt Gingrich far behind and Ron Paul posting only single digits in fourth place.

The only real question coming out of Louisiana is whether Newt Gingrich will soon afterwards exit the race. I must admit, I've already predicted this event a number of times, and had Newt prove me wrong in every instance. But this time the calendar seems to dictate that Newt's run is over whether he wants to admit it or not. I've heard rumors that his Las Vegas Sugar Daddy has "written his last check" for Newt's super PAC, but even without the lack of money, the primary schedule is awfully stark for Newt for the next few months. Southern states, for the most part, just aren't in the mix for weeks and weeks to come. Sure, Newt can stay in and continue to embarrass himself (he placed fourth, behind Ron Paul, in Illinois), but both the voters and the media have already decided it is now essentially a two-man race. This means even if Newt stays in, he will be almost completely irrelevant. My guess is, at some point during the weekend (or soon after), Newt bows out of the race.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

To wrap up what will likely enter the history books as the most misogynistic Woman's History Month ever, we have a bright piece of news for American women.

Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland set a record this Saint Patrick's Day -- she became the longest-serving woman in the history of Congress. With 35 years in the House and Senate combined, Mikulski just beat Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts who died in 1960 after her own 35 years in the House.

Mikulski still has some months to go before she cracks into the all-time longest-serving list on Wikipedia, though, as they only list the top 94 (with a cutoff of exactly 36 years). Of the 94 on the list, only 14 are still currently serving.

Senator Mikulski was elected to the House in 1976, and the Senate in 1986 -- as Dick Durbin noted in floor remarks this week, the first woman to do so not "because of a husband or a father or someone else who served before her in higher office" but on her own merit.

We are proud to say that for her impressive congressional record, Senator Mikulski is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week. Congratulations on your record-setting achievement, and we look forward to your continued service on behalf of your Maryland constituents.

[Congratulate Senator Barbara Mikulski on her Senate contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

The people who massively disappointed me this week aren't truly eligible for this award. But no other Democrats did anything odious of note this week (if I forgot anyone, please let me know in the comments, as always), so instead I'm going to launch a mini-rant instead.

 

To The Editors Of America:

A toy made by the company Ohio Art has been in the news this week. This toy has a name. It is a brand name. It is a registered trademark, in fact. For some unfathomable reason, the otherwise-respected editors of this great country have all decided en masse that you will "edit" the spelling of this name. This is wrong and it needs to stop.

The name of this toy is, formally: Etch A Sketch®. Not "Etch a Sketch" or "Etch-a-sketch" or any of the other various idiotic ways you've been misspelling this trademark.

You are, to be blunt, over-editing. You are relying on the rules in your Book of Style for headlines, or conversation, or standard English. This is an error. You need to turn to the section in that Book of Style which discusses trademarks and brand names. In it, you will find that the company gets to decide the proper spelling and capitalization -- and not you.

The only exception to this hard-and-fast rule is when a trademark becomes a generic English word (example: aspirin). Some trademarks are teetering on the edge of this today (examples: Kleenex, Dumpster), but only when they begin to be used generically. Etch A Sketch is not in either category -- it is a very specific toy, and not some generic class of toys.

Seriously, guys, get it together. It takes about five seconds to find either the Ohio Art webpage, or even just any random image of an Etch A Sketch. The toy's name is printed right there on the top -- you can't miss it.

Now, few people will actually use the full "Etch A Sketch®" but this is not a problem, as the company itself isn't insistent on the "registered trademark" symbol. Ohio Art's own press release page shows that they themselves use the less-formal "Etch A Sketch" in their press releases, at times. So dropping the ® is understandable, but getting creative with the capitalization (or hyphenation) is, at this point, inexcusable.

Take the five seconds it requires. Look it up.

[Contact your local media outlet to correct them, if need be. Sigh.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 203 (3/23/12)

With that off our chest, we are in a perfect mood to address the health reform anniversary.

Two years ago, I wrote a column entitled "Health Reform Post-Mortem" in which I reviewed the trainwreck of getting health reform legislation through Congress. In it, I said (among other things... this may have been the very first column I ever used the phrase "More Debbie Wasserman Schultz, please" but it certainly wouldn't be the last):

...Republicans were winning the "messaging" war on the issue. Obama simply wasn't getting his message out, and neither were congressional Democrats, for the most part. Framing your message correctly helps you gain public support for your plan. Obama is reportedly going to do a public relations blitz in the next few weeks to "sell" what just passed to the public. But if he had done so in about September or October, it could have made a bigger difference.

. . .

Instead of forever being defined by their opponents, Democrats have simply got to learn to play offense in the marketplace of ideas, instead of always joining the verbal battle in a defensive crouch. At the beginning of the process, define your goals and then repeat as a soundbite until everyone "knows" it is true: "We Democrats are for X, Y, and Z. Republicans are against these fine ideas."

Also, while Obama did do this at the end of the process, from the very beginning, personalize the storyline. Pick a poster child, and say you're fighting to make his or her life better. Republicans are fighting to keep her in misery. Paint this one with broad strokes, and make the Republicans play defense, for once. Define the Republicans as being "on the wrong side of history, and on the wrong side of public opinion."

Two years later, the media blitz has finally arrived. Insert your own cynical "better late than never" comment here, I suppose. As of this writing, browsing the featured articles on Huffington Post, I find pro-Obamacare articles (even Obama has now embraced this term, apparently) from an MSNBC anchor, a small business advocate, Senator John Kerry, the National Urban League president, a health care advocate, the Surgeon General of the United States, and (for good measure) Sandra Fluke.

I don't mean to single out the Huffington Post, as this media blitz is taking place everywhere the White House can reach, as a concerted effort to tout Obamacare as a good thing. Truth be told, it has (so far) been one of the most impressive efforts on the media front I've ever seen from any Democrat. They are flooding the airwaves, and they have their forces marshaled.

The only problem, of course, is that next week the Supreme Court news is going to overshadow this effort, because the effort itself is years too late. The Supreme Court decision will not arrive until the summer, but the news of the extended arguments will dominate the media for the next week or so. As Alexis de Tocqueville said, "There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one."

Because of the court arguments next week, we would likely have written our talking points this Friday on the health care argument Democrats should be making anyway. But since the media blitz is so overwhelming, instead we're going to (for the first time we can remember) just serve up, word-for-word, a list of suggested talking points from the Democratic congressional leadership. Call it a make-your-own-talking-points week. Here are the facts and figures to work into defending Obamacare, if you dare. We offer these verbatim, with no introductory comments. The preface to this list was "Thanks to the Affordable Care Act:" (but one assumes the White House is now OK with using "Thanks to Obamacare:" as well).

 

1
   86 million

86 million Americans, including both seniors in Medicare and Americans under age 65 in private plans, have received one or more free preventive services, such as check-ups and cancer screenings.

 

2
   105 million

105 million Americans have had a lifetime limit on their coverage eliminated.

 

3
   17 million children

Up to 17 million children who have pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage by insurers.

 

4
   2.5 million young adults

2.5 million additional young adults up to age 26 now have health insurance.

 

5
   5.1 million seniors save $635

5.1 million seniors in the "donut hole" have received savings on their prescription drugs. $3.2 billion is the amount that seniors in the "donut hole" have saved on their prescription drugs, or an average of $635 per senior.

 

6
   2.3 million seniors

2.3 million seniors have taken advantage of a free Annual Wellness Visit under Medicare.

 

7
   2 million workers

360,000 small employers have used the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit to help them afford health insurance for 2 million workers in 2011.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

69 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [203] -- The Operation Was A Success...”

  1. [1] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Cue Michale ranting about "crap care". Give it a rest. Better health care for more people is a GOOD THING! Your bleating is SO GODDAMN TIRESOME!!!! Or, to quote the old Looney Tunes line, "ah, shaddup!!!"

  2. [2] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Kevin: "Better health care for more people is a GOOD THING!"

    Nobody disagrees with that. The thing is, legislation has to be constitutional. And if CrapCare goes down the tubes because of the King George-style "mandate," you've got nobody to blame for that but O and the Dems. It's not like they weren't warned enough, loudly and clearly, by the Republicans, not to mention the majority of Americans who'd said "no" to it all along. And it's not like O wasn't handed many opportunities, on a silver platter, to kill it himself (particularly after the great shellacking of 2010).

  3. [3] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Silly me...I thought it WAS passed in accordance with your constitution, ie. majority rules, etc., etc. The nutbars who LIKE Americans being devastated by a medical crisis (death panels, anyone?), didn't "warn" the democrats; they held their breath, pouted and screamed, and generally behaved like the nihilists they are. This "constitutional" BS is exactly that; BS. And how's that 2010 "shellacking" working out? And you U.S. right-wingers wonder why the rest of the world looks at you and shakes their heads in sorrow and pity...But thank you very much for not duplicating Michale's hysterical right wing technique of multiple irrelevant posts in hopes that his volume will obscure his lack of reason.

  4. [4] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    I'm looking to see how this turns out. If the Supreme Court says it's constitutional will the right accept it, or are we going to be drowned in cry's of judicial activism for the rest of the year?

    Personally I think that even in a less than perfect state, health care reform passing was good. Should it pass the courts, it will be protected by filibuster in the Senate. The right will quickly find it's easier to try and fix than abolish. Especially once the political season calms down.

    If the courts reject it, or realistically reject major parts of it, I hope the right has a real plan to back it up. Going back to the system before will not sit well with many...

  5. [5] 
    dsws wrote:

    Silly me...I thought it WAS passed in accordance with your constitution, ie. majority rules, etc., etc.

    The Constitution spells out not only the procedure for passing laws, but also a bunch of limits on what laws can be passed. If both houses of Congress vote, in accordance with every letter of all of their procedural gobbledygook, to pass a law making the Methodist church the official church of the US and providing for its support from tax revenues, it's unconstitutional because the first amendment says they can't do that. That's the type of unconstitutional the right-wingers are claiming about Obamacare.

    Of course, it's BS that Obamacare violates any of those limits. It provides a tax incentive to buy insurance: that's a completely normal use of the tax power. Taxes have been enacted with motives other than just raising revenue ever since the founding.

  6. [6] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Silly me...I thought it WAS passed in accordance with your constitution

    Gee, that remains to be seen, doesn't it? Stay tuned. Something tells me that We, the People, never constitutionally authorized our public servants to award themselves mandating power to dictate private-sector purchases, and punish us — their bosses — if we dared to disobey them.

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lemme ask you something Kevin... The rest of you can chime in, of course..

    If... WHEN the SCOTUS rules that CrapCare is unconstitutional, will you... Will ANY of you finally concede that it was a bad idea???

    I know CW has already agreed that the Mandate is a bad idea...

    The SCOTUS will likely agree and, because the Mandate cannot be removed from CrapCare, the whole law will be struck down.

    Will you finally concede then as to what the majority have been telling Democrats for years??

    CrapCare is crap???

    Ironically enough, the vast majority of ya'all AGREED that CrapCare was crap...

    Right up until the point that Democrats pushed it thru by hook or by crook..

    THEN everyone here was completely behind it..

    When the SCOTUS rules that CrapCare is dead, will ya'all finally concede that the majority of Americans were right and ya'all and the Democrats *AND* Obama were wrong???

    I have to admit, I am kind of jaded. I don't expect anyone to concede that point..

    But I have been wrong before... :D

    Here's hoping I am wrong again... :D

    CrapCare is crap. It won't pass constitutional muster.

    dsws
    Taxes have been enacted with motives other than just raising revenue ever since the founding.

    For example????

    Has there EVER been a mandate from the Federal Government to force an American Citizen to buy a product under penalty of taxation solely based on the criteria that a person is alive??

    Can you provide ONE example of this??

    No you can't. Because there is absolutely NOTHING in the US Constitution that allows the Federal Government to reach that far..

    Absolutely NOTHING....

    But, by all means.

    Provide me ONE example of your claim that the Federal Government can force an American Citizen to buy a product under penalty of taxation solely based on the criteria that a person is alive.

    Just ONE... That's all I ask...

    If you can provide me *ONE* example that meets that criteria, I'll give Weigantians the week off from my "non-conversations" and "rabid partisanship" :D

    Michale......

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Hello All,

    Just got back from a rather scary hard drive meltdown, so I'm just happy to be able to post, at this point.

    But I warn both sides: predicting what The Nine will say or do or rule is a fool's errand.

    It's all about which side of the bed Kennedy wakes up on...

    :-)

    As for constitutionality, the key may be Raich v. Gonzales. That's all I have to say on the matter, at present...

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Just got back from a rather scary hard drive meltdown, so I'm just happy to be able to post, at this point.

    Don'tcha just HATE when that happens!! :D

    I have always maintained that one should NEVER keep anything on a computer that they can't live without..

    These days, it's getting harder and harder...

    But I warn both sides: predicting what The Nine will say or do or rule is a fool's errand.

    I will state, for the record, that I will accept the SCOTUS ruling whatever it may be...

    I am just curious if anyone else is willing to make the same pledge.. :D

    Michale....

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    As for constitutionality, the key may be Raich v. Gonzales. That's all I have to say on the matter, at present...

    It's pretty sad when the Administration ditches their own legal strategy to adopt the strategy of trying to hem in a particular justice.

    In other words, Obama et al knew their case was so weak, they decided a strategy of targeting a specific Justice with a tailored ruling.

    "Bad Form!!"
    -Jack, HOOK

    I don't think Scalia will buy it, though... Wasn't he the one that mouthed disapproval when Obama attacked the Justices during the SOTU speech???

    Especially when one considers that Obama was attacking the Justices for a ruling that Obama *EVENTUALLY EMBRACED*!!

    You can bet the Justices will remember that slight...

    Michale.....

    Michale.....

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    If the majority is to be taken seriously, the Federal Government may now regulate quilting bees, clothes drives, and potluck suppers throughout the 50 States. This makes a mockery of Madison's assurance to the people of New York that the "powers delegated" to the Federal Government are "few and defined", while those of the States are "numerous and indefinite."
    -Justice Clarence Thomas
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzales_v._Raich

    I'm just sayin' :D

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Chris1962 wrote:
  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here's the schedule, folks: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/03/23/guide-to-supreme-court-health-care-arguments/

    Breads & Circuses

    Pass the popcorn... :D

    Michale.....

  14. [14] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Chris1962 -

    Thanks for posting the schedule. A reminder to all: next week is just the arguments. A decision won't appear until June/July. Not to spoil anyone's fun, but just saying "be patient" that's all.

    To me, it's just amusing to see conservatives begging loudly for what they usually call "judicial activism".

    Heh.

    -CW

  15. [15] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Just a note -

    I seem to be back up and running again. Sorry for the interruption. The site's data were never in danger, the problem was solely with my home machine. Guess I should have mentioned that. But we're back up and running again here (with insignificant data loss), so crisis largely averted.

    Whew!

    Back your computers up, people, it is crucial.

    -CW

  16. [16] 
    dsws wrote:

    Once a person died whose soul was perfectly balanced between repentance and recalcitrance, tending neither to the road toward Hell nor to that toward Heaven. Jesus and Satan had to come up with a tie-breaker to decide this soul's destiny. They settled on a challenge: whichever of them could be the first to complete a spreadsheet of all the souls in Heaven and Hell, and their major sins and acts of goodness, would gain the salvation or damnation of this balanced soul. They been at this task for most of an eternal Day, a sixth as long as it took to accomplish the Creation, when the sheer intensity of supernatural energy overwhelmed the mortal wiring their computers were connected to, and tripped a circuit breaker. Both groaned: miraculously restoring the data would have been effortless, but it was forbidden by the terms of their contest. Satan was dumbfounded, a few eternal Minutes later, when Jesus completed His task and the soul began its long journey upward. As it turns out, Jesus saves.

  17. [17] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Jesus saves...groan :D

  18. [18] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I will state, for the record, that I will accept the SCOTUS ruling whatever it may be.

    Here's how it's going to be decided and, unfortunately, it has very little to do with legalities and everything to do with politics.

    It will be upheld. One of the conservative justices will side with the four liberals.

    Why?

    Because the healthcare law is the best thing that ever happened for conservatives and they know it.

    1) It's a conservative bill that benefits our biggest insurance companies. The idea for the individual mandate originally came from the Heritage Foundation. It had broad support with conservatives including Mitt Romney who passed it in Massachusetts.

    2) If the Supreme Court overrules it, conservatives will lose their signature issue for the fall election.

    The thing you have to realize is that conservatives have every incentive to uphold the law, and zero incentive to block it. They want it even more than Democrats.

    For this reason, if Vegas laid odds on it, I would bet everything I had on it being upheld. It's about as near a certainty as you can get.

    The only question is, which one of the conservative judges is going to take the wrap. My guess is Kennedy.

    -David

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    To me, it's just amusing to see conservatives begging loudly for what they usually call "judicial activism".

    Would stopping Congress from violating the Constitution be "judicial activism"??

    Michale....

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Here's how it's going to be decided and, unfortunately, it has very little to do with legalities and everything to do with politics.

    I disagree...

    I think the SCOTUS is the last bastion of integrity left in our country..

    I believe that CrapCare will be decided on it's legal merits and, based on that, it will be ruled unconstitutional.

    Why we went to court over ObamaCare
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/03/26/why-went-to-court-over-obamacare/#ixzz1qEKMoThs

    Ya'all go on and on about "FACTS".

    I challenge ANYONE to refute the facts of this
    opinion piece...

    Michale.....

  21. [21] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I believe that CrapCare will be decided on it's legal merits and, based on that, it will be ruled unconstitutional.

    Bet?

    I'll wear a John Boehner shirt (or Republican of your choosing) for a day, if you'll wear an Obama shirt for a day.

    -David

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bet?

    I'll wear a John Boehner shirt (or Republican of your choosing) for a day, if you'll wear an Obama shirt for a day.

    It's a bet.

    To clarify, the actual bet is that CrapCare will be ruled unconstitutional..

    If I win, you wear an I LOVE GEORGE BUSH shirt for a day..

    I suggest this one.
    zazzle.com/i_love_george_w_bush_tshirt-235599408321587834

    If you win I'll wear an I LOVE BARACK OBAMA shirt for the day.. I'll make one using this pic:
    epicponyz.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/sparock.jpg

    :D

    We'll each have til June 30th to purchase (or make) our respective shirts. :D

    Michale.....

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here is the biggest beef against CrapCare that NO ONE here has been able to address..

    If CrapCare is ruled Constitutional than that gives the Federal Government the authority to force an American citizen to purchase ANYTHING...

    Cars are polluting the planet. US Government forces Americans to purchase Chevy Volts.

    Homeless crime is rising. US Government forces Americans to purchase a home.

    Obese Americans are raising health care costs. US Government forces Americans to purchase health food only.

    Now, I suspect many of you are nodding yer heads and saying, "yep.. yep.. yep.. I don't see a problem here."

    How about this.

    Too many crime victims are being hurt or killed. US Government forces every American to purchase a weapon and pay for training classes to obtain CCW...

    Weigantians: "Whoaa now!!! Wait a minute!!"

    You see the precedence that is being set here?? Ya'all think it's a fine and dandy precedent because Democrats are in control...

    What happens when the GOP take completely control of the White House and a filibuster proof control of Congress..

    Do ya'all REALLY want the kind of absolute power that CrapCare gives the government in the hands of the GOP!???

    No sane American would want to see that kind of absolute power in the hands of their government..

    Michale.....

  24. [24] 
    akadjian wrote:

    To clarify, the actual bet is that CrapCare will be ruled unconstitutional.

    Yup. It's technical title is the Affordable Care Act, but I know what you mean. If it's ruled unconstitutional, you win. If upheld, I win.

    We'll each have til June 30th to purchase (or make) our respective shirts. :D

    Excellent. And the shirt must be serious and not mocking.

    Pictures will be required for verification :) We can post links here.

    This should be fun. It's on!

    -David

    p.s.

    If CrapCare is ruled Constitutional than that gives the Federal Government the authority to force an American citizen to purchase ANYTHING.

    Did the law requiring people to wear seat belts give the government the ability to force people to do anything?

    Of course it didn't and neither will this. But ... this is exactly why the law will be upheld (because conservative politicians want your votes and ginning up your fear is the best way to get them).

  25. [25] 
    akadjian wrote:
  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Did the law requiring people to wear seat belts give the government the ability to force people to do anything?

    If I recall correctly, Seat Belt Laws are a STATE LAW, not a federal law...

    The only "seat belt law" from the Federal Government was in 1968 when the Fed mandated that all cars must HAVE safety belts...

    Their use is left to the states..

    One state (New Hampshire) doesn't even HAVE a seat belt law...

    Ironic that New Hampshire's State Motto is:

    LIVE FREE OR DIE

    Howz THAT for irony, eh?? :D

    But ... this is exactly why the law will be upheld (because conservative politicians want your votes and ginning up your fear is the best way to get them).

    So, you would agree that, as freedom loving Americans, we should ALL be against The Aff... The Afford..... The Affordab..... Crap Care, eh?? :D

    Here's my suggestion ...

    http://rlv.zcache.com/obama_got_osama_t_shirt-p235413720245582820ad2ca_300.jpg

    Can I use a marker to pencil in "By Using Bush CT Policies"??? :D

    Hokay.... I'll get that one...

    You realize that whoever loses will likely have to hold a press conference amongst their friends afterwards, eh??

    "Yea, well I'm the one that's going to have to hold a press conference when this is all over!"
    -Amanda Peterson, CAN'T BUY ME LOVE

    Michale.....

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh, it's going to have to be a tank-top.. It'll be the middle of summer and I rarely wear a shirt with sleeves between 1 Jan-31 Dec.... :D

    Michale.....

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:
  29. [29] 
    dsws wrote:

    Here's how it's going to be decided ...

    I mostly agree, but I would point out that it's not all-or-nothing. A token victory on some aspect of the law would be heartening to their side, particularly if the decision leaves the door visibly open to further judicial action later.

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    I also noticed that 30 Jun falls on a Sat.. I am not sure if the SCOTUS will release their ruling on the Fri before or the Monday after..

    Also, to be fair, I am pretty much a homebody Mon-Fri. So, in the spirit of fairness, if I lose (which is unlikely :D) I'll wear the shirt at my shop on the weekend following the release of the ruling...

    dsws also makes a good point. We're gonna have to come to a compromise if it's not a clear cut ruling..

    Michale.....

  31. [31] 
    dsws wrote:

    Bet?

    I'll wear a John Boehner shirt (or Republican of your choosing) for a day, if you'll wear an Obama shirt for a day.

    The bet is unadjudicable. If the law is mostly struck down, some part of it will be deemed severable or unripe for review or whatever. If the law is upheld, it will be upheld only against on-its-face unconstitutionality, with a broad hint that it will be mostly overturned in a later as-applied challenge.

    Unless you spell out the terms of the bet in greater detail, neither of you will accept that you have to wear the shirt.

  32. [32] 
    Chris1962 wrote:
  33. [33] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I mostly agree, but I would point out that it's not all-or-nothing.

    Good point, Dsws. Any thoughts on how we could spell out in greater detail?

    I agree that they might hedge on some things, but I don't believe that anything will be declared unconstitutional.

    -David

    P.s. It doesn't have Obama's picture on it, but I like the shirt. Perfectly acceptable!

    http://www.cafepress.com/+obama_got_obl_mens_tank_top,572379265

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Good point, Dsws. Any thoughts on how we could spell out in greater detail?

    I am open to suggestions..

    P.s. It doesn't have Obama's picture on it, but I like the shirt. Perfectly acceptable!

    http://www.cafepress.com/+obama_got_obl_mens_tank_top,572379265

    Works for me.. :D After the bet, I'll send it to you as a gift.... unworn.. :D

    Michale.....

  35. [35] 
    dsws wrote:

    I agree that they might hedge on some things, but I don't believe that anything will be declared unconstitutional.

    I'm guessing that nothing will be flat-out struck down in the holding, but the obiter dicta of the various concurring opinions will say that various aspects could be put into effect in certain ways that would be unconstitutional -- and those will be fairly central to how the law was intended to work. That way it can sound like a win for the right, while keeping the issue alive.

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama Lawyer Laughed at In Supreme Court
    http://nation.foxnews.com/obamacare/2012/03/26/obama-lawyer-laughed-supreme-court

    Looks like the Administration did not have a good first day at the SCOTUS...

    Why is it when I listen to the White House's explanation of CrapCare, I am remind of Captain Kirk's efforts to teach FizzBin to the inhabitants of Iota 7??

    Michale.....

  37. [37] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I'm guessing that nothing will be flat-out struck down in the holding, but the obiter dicta of the various concurring opinions will say that various aspects could be put into effect in certain ways that would be unconstitutional -- and those will be fairly central to how the law was intended to work.

    Dsws- This is basically what I'm saying as well. Long story short, I don't believe anything is going to come out of this which will prevent the law from moving forward. Somehow they will throw a bone to the right. But the law will go forward. My guess was that they might try to punt this down the road somehow. But this won't stop the law from going forward. And there will be no constitutional blocks from preventing it from going forward.

    The issue is not what the right or left wants. The issue is that this is a good bill for corporate America. And that's why it will go forward.

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    The issue is not what the right or left wants. The issue is that this is a good bill for corporate America. And that's why it will go forward.

    It's a bill that screws over everyday Americans....

    The Congressional Budget Office released a new cost figure last week—$2.6 trillion—after measuring the effects of expanding coverage over the law’s first ten years in effect, and noted that “four million fewer Americans” will have “employer-based coverage” as a result.

    ... it causes economic uncertainty and lag

    Small Business Owner confidence is lower today than the same time last year.. SBOs are afraid to expand and hire—they are unable to plan for future growth while the fear of new costs shrouds them like a fog on the horizon.

    .... and it represents a gross overreach of the Federal Government.

    Coercing people into making economic decisions that may be financially disadvantageous forsakes the values that our Founders established as inalienable.

    These are the facts that everyone says they want but refuse to acknowledge...

    Everybody wants a magical solution to all their problems, yet they refuse to believe in magic!"
    -Jefferson (The Mad Hatter), ONCE UPON A TIME

    This bill will not go forward..

    Michale.....

  39. [39] 
    akadjian wrote:

    This bill will not go forward.

    Hey Michale, we've hashed through this before so I'm not going to get into it. I've placed my bet and we'll let the courts decide. I know how conservative politicians think so I'm pretty confident they'll vote for it (even though they'll appear to be against it).

    -David

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    And Obama's boneheaded moves causes concern for ANOTHER US ally...

    Obama's Hint To Medvedev Rattles Poland
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeedpolitics/obamas-hint-to-medvedev-rattles-poland

    What IS it about this guy??? He is going to make sure that the US doesn't have a friend in the world...

    Michale.....

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hey Michale, we've hashed through this before so I'm not going to get into it. I've placed my bet and we'll let the courts decide. I know how conservative politicians think so I'm pretty confident they'll vote for it (even though they'll appear to be against it).

    Fair enough.. :D

    Time will tell... Hopefully we'll have some better indication of the SCOTUS' thinking after the oral arguments.

    Often, the types of questions they ask indicate their current thought processes..

    Michale.....

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    My only point is, while CrapCare IS good for corporations, it is lousy for middle-class Americans.

    We seem to agree on that point..

    Our only point of contention appears to be which way the SCOTUS will go..

    You seem to think that SCOTUS will side with the Corporations against the American middle class..

    I have faith that the SCOTUS will look our for our interests, over the interests of the Corporations.

    And, viola'

    A bet is born... :D

    Michale.....

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all wanna know why I dislike Republicans but I REALLY dislike Democrats??

    Focus in Trayvon Martin case shifts to Washington
    http://www.clickorlando.com/news/Parents-of-slain-Florida-teen-to-appear-on-Capitol-Hill/-/1637132/9717200/-/8r2hugz/-/index.html

    Democrats fall all over themselves to give comfort and sympathy to some druggie "gangsta"'s parents, but completely ignore the guy that this "gangsta" beat the crap out of and would have killed..

    THAT is why I will never, EVER, support the Democratic Party..

    I'll vote for a Democrat if they are the best person for the job...

    But the Party?? Never in a million years...

    Michale.....

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Justices signal possible trouble for health insurance mandate

    Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. suggested that the government might require Americans to buy cellphones to be ready for emergencies. And Justice Antonin Scalia asked if the government might require Americans to buy broccoli or automobiles.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-justices-signal-possible-trouble-ahead-for-health-insurance-mandate-20120327,0,423592.story

    "Are there any limits?"
    -Justice Kennedy

    "If the government can do this, what else can it do?"
    -Justice Scalia

    Those are ALL very VERY good questions, aren't they??? :D

    Michale.....

  45. [45] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Michale, re: the LA Times article, I thought this line of Kennedy's was rather telling:

    "...But Tuesday, the three -- and Alito -- repeatedly criticized the requirement to buy health insurance as forcing people to enter a market, which they said was a new and troubling use of federal power.

    "That changes the relationship of the individual to the federal government," Kennedy said.....

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    CB,

    Not only that...

    ...the Court normally gives Congress the benefit of the doubt on laws that it passes but in this instance there was "a heavy burden of justification necessary" for supporters of ObamaCare to prove its legal worth."

    Kennedy's other question was excellent as well.

    "Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?"

    Granted, a lot can happen, but I think those questions and statements indicate how Kennedy is leaning...

    Get yer shirt ready, David! :D

    Michale.....

  47. [47] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Michale: Kennedy's other question was excellent as well.
    "Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?"

    That's precisely what the Right has been saying since Day One: Our federal public servants were not given the constitutional authority to award themselves the power to force a purchase from the private sector.

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Toobin: Obama healthcare reform law 'in grave, grave trouble'
    A top legal analyst predicted Tuesday that the Obama administration's healthcare reform legislation seemed likely to be struck down by the Supreme Court.

    Jeffrey Toobin, a lawyer and legal analyst, who writes about legal topics for The New Yorker said the law looked to be in "trouble." He called it a "trainwreck for the Obama administration."

    "This law looks like it's going to be struck down. I'm telling you, all of the predictions, including mine, that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong," Toobin said Tuesday on CNN. "I think this law is in grave, grave trouble."
    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/218427-toobin-obama-healthcare-reform-law-in-grave-grave-trouble

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Our only point of contention appears to be which way the SCOTUS will go.

    Not really. I've just accepted that we'll have to agree to disagree on healthcare.

    My opinion is that healthcare is the perfect example of something that the private sector doesn't do well.

    -David

  50. [50] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Get yer shirt ready, David! :D

    Heheheh ... We shall see.

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    My opinion is that healthcare is the perfect example of something that the private sector doesn't do well.

    I would put forth the theory that the Private Sector COULD do healthcare well if it wasn't burdened by politics in the form of trial lawyers.

    Ask any doctor what the biggest impediment is to his success and he will tell you it's trial lawyers and the fact that they are supported to the hilt by Democrats...

    I am all for REAL Healthcare Reform..

    But let's start with the trial lawyers, eh??? Let's take a chunk out of THAT cash cow, eh?? :D

    You know who was the BIGGEST winner of CrapCare after the drug companies and the insurance companies??

    The trial lawyers...

    http://articles.cnn.com/2009-11-09/opinion/frum.trial.lawyers.victory_1_malpractice-caps-trial-lawyers?_s=PM:OPINION

    Michale....

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Medical tort reform drives down insurance premiums by reducing the amount of tests insurance companies cover each year. This would reduce healthcare costs by as much as $200 billion a year. So why are no Democrats talking about eliminating defensive medicine as an easy way to save billions of taxpayer dollars? Trial lawyers, the only opponents to medical tort reform, happen to be in bed with Democrats, consistently raising millions for the Democratic Party. Democrats have sold out the American public for trial lawyers’ “donations.”

    http://www.atr.org/trial-lawyers-thwart-meaningful-healthcare-reform-a3657#ixzz1qLjQ5V9E

    I'm just sayin'......

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    But the reason, the reason this is concerning, is because it requires the individual to do an affirmative act. In the law of torts our tradition, our law, has been that you don't have the duty to rescue someone if that person is in danger. The blind man is walking in front of a car and you do not have a duty to stop him absent some relation between you. And there is some severe moral criticisms of that rule, but that's generally the rule.

    And here the government is saying that the Federal Government has a duty to tell the individual citizen that it must act, and that is different from what we have in previous cases and that changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in the very fundamental way.
    -Justice Kennedy

    If the White House is counting on Kennedy's vote, I think they are going to be disappointed...

    Michale.....

  54. [54] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws [16] -

    BWAH hah hah! That was funny!

    Reminds me of a bumpersticker I saw a while ago:

    "Jesus is coming. Look busy."

    Michale and David -

    OK, I think this bet idea is a fun one, so I'm going to jump in and appoint myself SCOCW.com (Supreme Court of ChrisWeigant.com), and furthermore insist that I have the right to review bets made here. Call it my Marbury v. Madison moment. Heh.

    Here's how I see the bet:

    First off, were going to exercise severability. The real question, the core of the bet, is the mandate. None of the rest of it matters. So, if SCOTUS determines the mandate is unconstitutional, then Michale wins. If SCOTUS upholds the mandate as constitutional, David wins.

    None of the rest of it will apply -- in other words, no matter what SCOTUS says on any other aspect matters.

    Shirts must be worn on a weekday, and if you guys wanted a real hair-on-your-chest bet (apologies to the ladies), then I would also make a rule that you are forbidden to explain the shirt to anyone until the next day. Not even a generic "I lost a bet" would be allowed. All you could say would be "ask me tomorrow."

    Heh.

    Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon just had an amusing bet like this, for some silly game they played on air. Leno lost the bet, and he had to wear a fake mustache during his monologue, without referring to it at all during the monologue. It was hilarious, I have to admit.

    How does all of that sound? The "not talk about it" thing is optional, both of you would have to agree to that part beforehand, and we'd have to use the honor system for verification.

    One final thought: haven't I seen Michale in an Obama T-shirt (with Obama as a Vulcan on Star Trek) before? Maybe I just imagined it... heh heh.

    [BAM!] Court's adjourned.

    -CW

  55. [55] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale and David -

    Oh, I forgot: if the Supreme Court punts and decides the AIA applies and it can't rule until 2015, then it's a tie and neither of you has to wear a shirt.

    I'll wager that isn't going to happen, so I'll wear a shirt of your choosing if it does, and both of you will be off the hook.

    I would suggest something so odious as to be embarrassment personified for me to wear. Perhaps an "I love Brian Williams" shirt? "Fox News rocks" maybe?

    Heh.

    -CW

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    First off, were going to exercise severability. The real question, the core of the bet, is the mandate. None of the rest of it matters. So, if SCOTUS determines the mandate is unconstitutional, then Michale wins. If SCOTUS upholds the mandate as constitutional, David wins.

    None of the rest of it will apply -- in other words, no matter what SCOTUS says on any other aspect matters.

    I think that's an excellent idea... The Mandate *IS* the issue, regardless of anything else..

    I can agree to this stipulation...

    Shirts must be worn on a weekday,

    In the spirit of fairness, I have to say that my "week day" is everyone else's weekend...

    So I would qualify the restriction to say that it must be worn on a normal workday..

    and if you guys wanted a real hair-on-your-chest bet (apologies to the ladies), then I would also make a rule that you are forbidden to explain the shirt to anyone until the next day. Not even a generic "I lost a bet" would be allowed. All you could say would be "ask me tomorrow."

    Although it would be REALLY difficult, I could agree to this.. :D

    As I indicated above, I don't know much about David's work environment, but I have to say in my own case, I will have a LOT of 'splainin' to do..

    One final thought: haven't I seen Michale in an Obama T-shirt (with Obama as a Vulcan on Star Trek) before? Maybe I just imagined it... heh heh.

    I am not sure if I made an Obama/Spock shirt or not...

    I do remember the Commodore Obama lecturing Capt Kirk about breaking the Prime Directive shirt.... :D

    Michale....

  57. [57] 
    dsws wrote:

    [43] Michale:
    I dislike Republicans but I REALLY dislike Democrats

    Yay, finally an acknowledgment of partisan preference.

  58. [58] 
    akadjian wrote:

    None of the rest of it will apply -- in other words, no matter what SCOTUS says on any other aspect matters.

    Fantastic! Since Michale seems to agree, I accept your self-appointment as Supreme Court of ChrisWeigant.com and terms as independent arbiter.

    Shirts must be worn on a weekday.

    I will also add a stipulation common to my work but was planning on. Since I typically work from home, the shirt must be worn on a day when I go into the office or to my office away from home, the independent tree-hugging fair trade coffee shop (and trust me, I would much rather wear the shirt to the office than the coffee shop where I know everyone and they are all ummm ... how should I say it? ... quite liberal).

    And Michale ... we may be on opposite sides of this bet ... but I consider you, sir, an honorable foe!

    -David

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    Yay, finally an acknowledgment of partisan preference.

    Finally??

    I think that was established a year or two ago...

    By none other than our own NYPoet...

    Further, I have always stated that I dislike Democrats more because of their blatant hypocrisy, of which their prostration over this Trayvon Martin issue. You can bet that they will lose by embracing Martin and lose big..

    There is nothing "partisan" about it.

    It's simply an acknowledgement of the facts...

    David,

    I will also add a stipulation common to my work but was planning on. Since I typically work from home, the shirt must be worn on a day when I go into the office or to my office away from home, the independent tree-hugging fair trade coffee shop (and trust me, I would much rather wear the shirt to the office than the coffee shop where I know everyone and they are all ummm ... how should I say it? ... quite liberal).

    SO, you'll have to hold a press conference too, eh? :D

    And Michale ... we may be on opposite sides of this bet ... but I consider you, sir, an honorable foe!

    Du auch... :D

    Michale.....

  60. [60] 
    dsws wrote:

    So, my opinion that Republicans are worse is "partisan", whereas your opinion that Democrats are worse is "just the facts". I should have known.

  61. [61] 
    dsws wrote:

    Or rather, "simply an acknowledgment of the facts". Mea culpa on using quotation marks around a paraphrase.

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, my opinion that Republicans are worse is "partisan", whereas your opinion that Democrats are worse is "just the facts". I should have known.

    No, your opinion that Democrats are always right and Republicans are always wrong...

    THAT is partisan...

    Especially when one considers that the opinion is based on nothing but Party ideology...

    Michale.....

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    Especially when one considers that the opinion is based on nothing but Party ideology...

    Here's a perfect example..

    What's your opinion on how the Democratic Party is handling the Trayvon Martin issue??

    Michale.....

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    {{{chhiiirrrrrpppp}}} {{{chirrrrrrppppppp}}}

    That's what I thought.... :D

    Michale......

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    'SO MUCH HATE COMING FROM THE PRESIDENT'
    -Father Of George Zimmerman

    That really says it all...

    Michale....

  66. [66] 
    dsws wrote:

    your opinion that Democrats are always right ...

    ... is a pure hallucination, produced by your partisan mental illness, and having no support from the available facts. I have never said Democrats are always right. I have never said anything that anyone could honestly mistake for Democrats are always right. My actual opinions, both at the level of policy and at the level of theory, are almost entirely outside the realm of political viability. Democrats operate entirely within the realm of political viability.

    You're spewing dishonest BS about me. Presumably you consciously think you're as righteous as Job, but on some level, you know what you're doing. Get in touch with that long-silenced fragment of yourself.

    and Republicans are always wrong

    ... also doesn't exist. If a Republican says 2+2=4, that doesn't make me abandon arithmetic. Unlike your previous delusion, though, this one does have a strong basis in reality. Republicans are deeply wrong. They think "might makes right", or in my terms they think there's no such thing as right and wrong. If there really weren't, it would follow that we shouldn't use such an important word for a silly nonsense concept, so we would want to apply the word to something else: whatever it is that might makes, or whatever favorite stories put into the mouth of The Guy From The Sky.

    They're what I would describe as moral nihilists. That can't help but affect their take on moral issues. So they're always at least somewhat wrong on the important questions.

    Democrats, meanwhile, are morally incoherent. They pander, because that's how politics works. But whereas the Republicans have a winning strategy of pandering intensely to some core constituencies, the Democrats try to pander to everyone except those (inevitably a losing strategy). So the Democrats wind up with no deep position, whereas the Republicans sort-of have the one that their core constituents mostly really have. And it's utterly reprehensible.

    Political parties are inherently amoral. But amoral with a hefty dose of immoral is worse than amoral with a hefty dose of incoherent.

    That's partisan preference flowing from substantive position, not the other way 'round.

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://twitter.com/#!/KillZimmerman

    Wonder why there isn't condemnation from Democrats over this, eh?? :^/

    The Democratic Party at it's finest....

    Michale....

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    You're spewing dishonest BS about me.

    And you do the same to me.. The only difference is my "spewing" is based in logic and objectivity.

    Yours is based in political ideology..

    ... is a pure hallucination, produced by your partisan mental illness, and having no support from the available facts.

    Have you EVER taken the GOP side in a GOP vs DEM issue..

    YES or NO??

    No, you haven't..

    Ergo, you believe that the Democratic Party is always right in issues where they conflict with the Republican Party..

    And, considering you are wallowing with regards to the Trayvon Martin issue, I don't think you are in a position to question anyone's facts, least of all mine... :D

    Republicans are deeply wrong.

    You prove my point for me..

    What it all boils down to is one thing..

    You have never condemned the Democratic Party in the manner that I have condemned the Republican Party.

    That's what makes me a NPA and you a partisan Democrat...

    Which is not a big deal.. You want to be a partisan Democrat, by all means. Knock yerself out..

    Just don't try to drag me down with you...

    The problem is you view MY actions thru the jaded lens of political bigotry. Since it is your belief that "Republicans are deeply wrong", anyone who would take that "deeply wrong" position at ANY time, MUST be a rabid partisan like yourself..

    What you fail to take into account is that your own biases color your judgement..

    Mine do too, no doubt about it..

    The difference between us is that I recognize it and attempt to get past it..

    You refuse to believe it even exists, therefore you see no reason to stop it..

    But, what the hell.. It's these little differences that make this country great.. :D

    Michale.....

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    What it all boils down to is this..

    For some reason, you want to try and make me out to be as partisan as you are, except in favor of Republicans instead of Democrats..

    The only problem is, you would have to ignore about 60%-70% of my posts to make that charge stick..

    Michale.....

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